"Thierry has an exceptional leadership track record, strong international exposure, deep strategic expertise, a unique ability to forge long-standing client relationships, and proven experience of driving transformation and managing technological disruption," said Rishad Premji, Chairman, Wipro Ltd

Thierry Delaporte has been named the first non-Indian to run the Indian multinational information technology, consulting and business process services business Wipro.

Thierry Delaporte was, until recently, the Chief Operating Officer of the French multinational consulting, technology services and digital transformation company Capgemini and a member of its group executive board. During his 25-year career with Capgemini, he held several leadership roles, including that of CEO of the global financial services strategic business unit, and head of all global service lines. He also oversaw Capgemini’s India operations, and led the group’s transformation agenda, conceptualising and driving strategic programs across various business units.

He has been appointed CEO and Managing Director of Wipro, effective 6 July, 2020.

“I am delighted to welcome Thierry as CEO and Managing Director of the company. Thierry has an exceptional leadership track record, strong international exposure, deep strategic expertise, a unique ability to forge long-standing client relationships, and proven experience of driving transformation and managing technological disruption. We believe that Thierry is the right person to lead Wipro in its next phase of growth,” said Rishad Premji, Chairman, Wipro Limited.

“I want to thank Abid for all that he has done for Wipro and for making this transition as smooth and seamless as possible despite his personal commitments.”

Abidali Neemuchwala will step down as CEO and MD on 1 June. Rishad Premji will oversee the day-to-day operations of Wipro until 5 July.

Commenting on his appointment, Thierry Delaporte said, “I am deeply honored to be invited to lead Wipro, an extraordinary company and an exemplary corporate citizen with a deep technology heritage built on a strong foundation of values. I look forward to working closely with Rishad, the Board, senior leadership and the hugely talented employees of Wipro to turn a new chapter of growth and build a better tomorrow for all our stakeholders.”

Rishad took over as Chairman of Wipro from his father Azim Premji last July and is looking to steer Wipro from a decade-long streak of below-par growth that has lagged peers, CXO Today reported.

Phil Fersht, CEO and chief analyst, HFS Research, wrote in a blog Horses for Sources that Wipro has gone “for a strong operator to make tough decisions who is ready for the challenge”.

“The Wipro board was clearly determined to bring in an outsider to make some changes to the company leadership team, organisational structure, and culture, even though there are some strong internal candidates such as Milan Rao and Rajan Kohli. The search was extensive, lasting several months, and the pandemic clearly slowed down the whole process. Moving for Delaporte, a dyed-in-the-wool Capgemini man with a strong operations and finance background shows Wipro is keen on playing it safe as the industry goes into a long cycle of volatility as we (eventually) emerge from the Covid crisis and deepening recession,” Fersht wrote.

“However, unlike the appointment of Salil Parekh at Infosys, another ex-Capgemini executive, we expect Delaporte to make some aggressive changes to the firm. He has a reputation within Capgemini for being a tough, ambitious leader and he was clearly very upset when he lost out in the CEO battle with Aiman Ezzat. His relatively quick move to Wipro shows he is determined to lead a major IT services business, even at a time when travel is challenging and the business climate highly uncertain.”

Wipro has its headquarters in Bangalore, officially Bengaluru, India, and employs more than 171,000 people worldwide. Thierry Delaporte, co-Founder and President of the not-for-profit organisation Life Project 4 Youth, will be based in Paris, France.